Steinbach City Council gave third reading to the Barkman Avenue and Penner Street Renewal at Tuesday’s council meeting.   

The renewal project entails reconstructing the roadway, water main and lining the sewer along Barkman Avenue between Henry Street and Beaver Crescent. 

Originally, it was also in the plans to reconstruct the roadway, water main and line the sewer on Penner Street between Reimer Avenue and Barkman Avenue at the same time, but after the renewal showed to be over budget, it was decided that this portion of the project would be postponed. 

Council approved to borrow up to $1.12 million for the completion of the renewal.

Councillor Susan Penner says the city tries to be proactive with its infrastructure, as it’s their primary responsibility. 

“So whether it's asphalt or underground infrastructure, if we can stay ahead of it and renew it at a regular pace, then it often ends up saving money in the long run as opposed to letting things get too far gone.” 

The city also awarded the contract for the Barkman Avenue/Penner Street/Asphalt Overlay Program to Maple Leaf Construction, being the lower bid of two bids, at $3,445,402. 

At this price, total project costs exceed the approved funding as provided for in the city's 2023 budget by just under $700,000. 

The reason for the higher project cost is primarily from both the water and sewer component costs being significantly more expensive than anticipated. 

Council approved the tender with the following three revisions as to stay within budget: 

First, that the project scope exclude the Penner Street portion of the work, except for at the existing intersection with Barkman Avenue. This will reduce the anticipated project costs by just over $300,000. 

Second, revising the city’s Lift Station #2 project by postponing the force main component of the project to 2024. This will free up additional funding of $265,000 from the city's Utility Operating fund that may be directed to the Barkman Avenue/Penner Street project.  

Third, further funding of $120,000 for the project will be provided by the city's Utility Reserve, which will cover the remaining funds needed.

Councillor Michael Zwaagstra says since the tender amount has come in considerably higher than was anticipated, these revisions will help continue the project, while still staying within budget. 

“We do want this project to go ahead. Obviously, our asphalt overlay and construction program is very important, but we need to do it with some revisions,” he says. “Our basic infrastructure remains important, so we need to make these revisions to make sure that we can go ahead with at least the majority of the project.”